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Employees at Mount Pleasant bars prepare to welcome alumni back for Homecoming

The Bird Bar and Grill sits on Oct. 5 in Mount Pleasant.

Alumni will make their way back to Central Michigan University this weekend to participate in homecoming festivities.

With the festivities comes a time to catch up with old friends. Often times those gatherings take place Mount Pleasant bars.

Central Michigan Life spoke with bar owners and employees about the history of their bars and their plans to welcome patrons for homecoming.

Bars near Broomfield

With a handful of establishments set up in southern Mount Pleasant, the Hunter family provided food, drinks and entertainment for CMU students for years.

Since its 1974 opening, Wayside Central has offered a place for the CMU community to enjoy a variety of DJs, dancing and a variety of concerts from performers Waka Flocka Flame, Blackbear and many more. Featuring pint night on Tuesdays and ladies’ night on Fridays, the club is always bumping with dance music and decorated with leather couches and the famous metal cages.

It is the place where Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond holds court the DJ box.

John Hunter, owner of Wayside Central, said that the popular gathering site on Mission Street has always been a place for students to come together and have a good time. 

This week Wayside Central will be kicking off their homecoming festivities with a performance by Slushii, electronic music producer, Thursday night with doors opening at 9 p.m. 

“We are expecting alumni to be coming in and out throughout this weekend,” Hunter said, adding that the club is only one of several Hunter family-owned businesses preparing for a successful homecoming. 

The Paddlebots, a progressive soul-pop band from Mount Pleasant, will be performing Friday at the Cabin. 

“The Cabin is actually one of the oldest bars around since prohibition,” said Hunter, whose family took ownership of the bar in the early 2000s. 

The Cabin opened in 1934, a year after the Congress ended prohibition.

The bar sells pizza, grinders and beer and offers trivia and karaoke event nights on 930 W. Broomfield St. 

The Hunter family also owns the Hunter’s Ale House and O’Kelly’s Sports Bar and Grill. 

The Bird

Thursday nights at the Bird Bar & Grill are a special occasion. 

The downtown hotspot, located at 223 S. Main St., has become a staple for students looking for food, drinks and fun. 

Opened in 1936 as the Flamingo Cocktail Lounge, the bar took on its new name and reputation for good times in the ‘60s. For 85 years the establishment has been owned by Breidenstein family. 

Lois Ann Breidenstein is the current owner of the Bird alongside her children Stacy and Ben. Jon Tobias, an employee of the bar, said homecoming is a special and busy time for the, but they don’t offer any unique specials for the celebration.

“The things that make the bird good are the things that bring people here anyway,” Tobias said. “We’re an outgoing and accepting group of people here and always offer a good time.” 

He gave some warm words for alumni looking to head back to the local staple. 

“Welcome back, strap up and look for your name on the tables,” Tobias said. “We can’t wait to see you in here.” 


About Samantha Shriber

Samantha Shriber is a staff reporter at Central Michigan Life and is a Saint Clair Shores ...

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